Oedipus and King Lear

A comparison of “Oedipus at Colonus” by Sophocles and “King Lear” by William Shakespeare, focusing on the themes of supernatural agents and blindness.

This paper provides a brief summary of “Oedipus at Colonus” and “King Lear”, looking at the characters and their actions. It compares and contrasts these two works – looking at the role of the King in the plays and how the supernatural agents become involved in their life decisions. The writer shows how each central figure becomes capable of seeing the truth of his world only after he is blinded or driven mad.
“Shakespeare s play is a much darker one, for while Lear may have been granted a sort of purity of inner sight through his madness, in the end this clarity of vision brings him no surcease from torment. This difference reflects not only the different requirements of these two specific plots and differences in the playwrights own temperaments but also differences that arise between the polytheistic and in at least some ways animistic world in which Sophocles lived and the monotheistic and Christian world of the English Renaissance.”